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Anti-hair loss 'cool caps' reach cancer units in Spain
21 May 2018 @ 19:32

'COOL caps' are beginning to come into use – albeit in very limited number – in Spanish hospitals to help prevent patients in chemotherapy from losing their hair.

Already standard in many UK hospitals – brands such as 'Dignicap' are often worn, especially by women – oncologists in Spain are mostly unaware of the availability of 'cool caps' as the focus is more on treating the cancer and relieving the painful and uncomfortable side-effects than on the psychological effects.

'Cool caps' look like transparent silicone swimming caps which are kept at sub-zero temperatures and then placed on the patient's head, covered then with a tightly-fitting skull-cap held in place with a chin strap.

They have 'tubes' running through them, filled with a cold gel, and are attached to a cooling machine to keep them as chilled as possible throughout and after the treatment session.

The aim is to 'freeze' the circulation in the veins in the scalp so that the drug combination, which destroys healthy cells as well as cancerous cells, does not reach the hair follicles.

Some oncologists are unsure about them as they believe it could be risky with the chemotherapy drugs not travelling through the scalp veins, as they may not pick up any microscopic cancerous cells there, but as yet reports do not appear to support any significant increase in the danger of tumour cells being 'left behind' as a result of using 'cool caps'.



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